Illinois lawmakers June 2 overwhelmingly approved a measure expected to generate $1.8 billion annually in new transportation revenue, with 80 percent dedicated to highway maintenance, construction, bridge repair, congestion relief, and aviation-related construction, and 20 percent for rail and public transit facilities.
The revenue will come from:
- a 19 cents-per-gallon state gas tax increase, which will be indexed to inflation;
- a new $100 annual electric vehicle registration fee; and
- higher motor vehicle registration fees.
The gas tax increase, which doubles the existing rate to 38 cents-per-gallon, takes effect July 1. Beginning in 2020, it will be annually adjusted on the same date to changes in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers.
Chicago and several counties also received permission to raise existing local gas taxes. Two additional counties are now allowed to implement their own local gas tax
Senate Bill 1939 required three-fifth majority approval in both chambers of the General Assembly to take effect on the July 1 target date. The Senate approved the measure 83-29 on June 1. It passed the House 48-9 the next day. Gov. J. B. Pritzker (D) is expected to sign the legislation into law.
“Whether it be through the billions of dollars invested in our economy, the hundreds of new contracts that will be awarded to rebuild our state or the thousands of new jobs for Illinois’ hard working men and women, this investment is going to be provide a boost to every Illinoisan,” bill sponsor Sen. Martin Sandoval (D- Chicago) said in a June 2 statement.
Illinois last increased the state gas tax in 1990. It is the fourth state to raise its gas tax this year—following Arkansas, Alabama and Ohio—and the 31st state to do so since 2013. Illinois is also the 27th state to institute an electric vehicle registration fee.
See ARTBA-TIAC’s full roundup of 2019 transportation funding legislation.
Learn more about 2019 transportation investment measures, funding trends, and campaign advice at the 6th Annual “National Workshop for State & Local Transportation Advocates” on July 17 in Washington, D.C.